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Rep. Sredzinski and Sen. Kelly Update Monroe Residents on Latest Developments in State Budget Crisis

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MONROE – State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112) and State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) held an open discussion Wednesday on the stalemate in Hartford that has prevented the implementation of a state budget for the next two years.   

As a result of the governor’s veto of a budget the legislature approved in September, an emergency executive order went into effect on October 1st to fund necessary state expenses, albeit with significant reductions in education funding, town aid, and other core government services. 

Those who attended the budget forum at Monroe Town Hall questioned Monroe’s state delegation on why the budget process has taken so long and how it would affect them locally.  Sen. Kelly and Rep. Sredzinski also held an emergency budget forum on March 8th following the governor’s proposal to eliminate Monroe’s state funding and bill them for the cost of teacher pensions. 

“In March, Senator Kelly and I stood right here, and listened to 150 people ask us to ‘go and get our money back.  That is what we did by passing a budget with bipartisan support that fully restored municipal aid and education funding,” said Rep. Sredzinski.  “In spite of the setback of the governor’s veto and a difficult road to overriding it, I will continue to fight for my district until this crisis is resolved.  I strive to be a quality resource for information about events in Hartford, so I always appreciate a chance to go back to my district and help my constituents understand why things have happened this way and how it will affect them.  The people who came to the budget forum made it clear that the lack of a state budget was unacceptable and at this stage in the game we need to do whatever it takes to give towns the certainty they need to run effectively.” 

“I first want to thank all of my constituents who came out to the budget forum last night, people came with good questions and were engaged throughout the discussion,” said Sen. Kelly. “Despite Governor Malloy’s veto we must continue to work for a veto override to pass a budget, and to this day the bipartisan budget passed by the general assembly remains the only viable option. It is important to also note that without a state budget the state will operate under the governor’s executive order which will decimate our towns and cities, our education system, nonprofits, and you, the hard-working taxpayer. To be clear without the override of this veto teacher layoffs, a reduction of social services, property tax increases and school cuts are inevitable. That is why I will continue to push for a veto override. We must provide our Connecticut families with a solution that puts Connecticut on a new, sustainable path. The time for politics has long ended, we must all work together now and stand up to Governor Malloy and his failed vision for our state.”

Rep. Sredzinski Continues Push for Veto Override

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HARTFORD – State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112) helped protect House Republicans’ veto override effort today after the Speaker called the House into session.

As a result of the governor’s veto and the absence of a state budget, the governor’s executive order will implement a wholesale elimination of Education Cost Sharing funding for 85 towns, including Monroe and Newtown. In addition, funding will be significantly reduced for state services such as Care4Kids, Meals on Wheels, employment opportunities and day services for the developmentally disabled, and housing support for people with mental health challenges, among several other agencies.

“Today’s session was a partisan ploy by the Speaker to undermine the veto override effort and kill the Republican budget that passed with bipartisan support. Instead of taking the bait, we postponed an override vote until next week. This keeps the approved budget alive and allows bipartisan negotiations to continue. I am still committed to overriding the governor’s veto,” said Rep. Sredzinski.

Rep. Sredzinski Calls Governor’s Veto “Irresponsible at Best and Actively Harmful at Worst”

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Says Governor Owns Responsibility for Impending Funding Cuts

HARTFORD – State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112) condemned the governor’s decision to veto the Republican budget that passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support. The governor’s veto means that a state budget will not be in effect by the October 1 ECS payment deadline and a majority of towns will see across the board cuts in municipal aid, education funding, and elimination of core government services.

“Even though the governor declared his intention to veto early on, we were still hoping he would set aside partisan politics and do what is best for the State of Connecticut. Unfortunately for families across the state, he refused to do so, and now many towns will suffer funding cuts as a result of the governor’s draconian executive order,” said Rep. Sredzinski, who had advocated all year for a budget that protected current levels of funding for every municipality. “It is also a major disappointment that the governor would not even use this bipartisan budget as a blueprint for future negotiations on a consensus budget. To reject the only budget plan that made it through the legislature is irresponsible at best and actively harmful to Connecticut at worst – he has just stamped his seal of approval on the crisis faced by municipalities and people who depend on core state services.”

The legislature has the option of voting to override the governor’s veto in a legislative session likely to be convened at some point in October.

“I am not deterred in my fight for a good deal for Monroe and Newtown. I will continue to push my Democratic colleagues to support this bipartisan budget that fully funds local schools and municipalities,” added Rep. Sredzinski.

Rep. Sredzinski Points to Historic Nature of Occasion as Republican Budget Passes Both Chambers of General Assembly

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Urges Governor to Sign Budget Bill into Law “as Soon as Possible”

HARTFORD – State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112) expressed cautious optimism at the passage of the Republican budget through both chambers of the General Assembly early Saturday morning.

It was a historic day after three Democrat State Senators broke ranks and voted for a Republican budget amendment which passed the Senate earlier that afternoon, and the House passed the same Republican budget bill afterward.  It now continues on its path to becoming law, although it is possible he will use the governor will use his veto power and block prevent that.

“Despite what action the Governor takes, this is a historic victory for Connecticut taxpayers more than anything else, because it is the first time in decades that both chambers of the General Assembly came together in a bipartisan manner and passed a budget that does not rely on tax increases to eliminate a deficit,” said Rep. Sredzinski.  “This is also a victory for Monroe and Newtown because after all the months of work, this budget restores our education funding and our other municipal aid.  In fact, if this bipartisan budget were to be signed by the governor tomorrow, all towns across Connecticut would retain their municipal aid and local education funding, plus they would avoid being forced to pay the massive cost of teacher pensions initially proposed back in February.  It gets the state going in a drastically different direction and takes a leap forward towards ending our fiscal crisis. The governor would be making a monumental error in judgment if he were to veto this budget after all the bipartisan work done by both Democrats and Republicans.”

Rep. Sredzinski Continues to Advocate for a Budget that Doesn’t Increase Taxes

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HARTFORD – State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112) today rejected the “compromise budget” proposed by Governor Malloy and reminded taxpayers that tax increases have often resulted from budget discussions between the governor and legislative Democrats over the past six years.

The governor’s revised budget proposal calls for a major increase in state taxes on hospitals, as well as a sales tax hike from 6.35% to 6.5% in order to balance the budget. In return for those tax increases, the governor’s budget would restore some of the municipal aid he suggested cutting in earlier proposals and aligns his budget more closely with the House Democrats’ proposal.

The House of Representatives is set to convene on September 14th with the goal being to vote on and pass a two-year budget. House Republicans are set to unveil a fifth iteration of a balanced budget proposal this week prior to the budget vote. This budget would maintain current levels of funding for municipalities without raising taxes by making structural changes to state government as a way to cut spending.

“My worst suspicions about the budget process seem to be coming to fruition – that the governor and majority leadership had no interest in negotiating with Republicans or considering our ideas to reform the bureaucracy,” said Rep. Sredzinski.  “While the restoration of some municipal aid funding certainly avoids a worst-case scenario for the towns of Monroe and Newtown, it looks like higher property taxes and other fee increases may be inevitable, even though they are not necessary.”

“I will reiterate that a budget with tax increases is not the only option for the State of Connecticut,” added Rep. Sredzinski.  “I intend on supporting and voting for the House Republican no-tax increase budget proposal which still maintains flat levels of municipal funding statewide.  We’ve seen two record tax hikes in the past six years that have completely failed to fix our fiscal crisis.  Instead of tax increases, we need to reduce our spending and find creative ways to make state government more efficient.”

When the month of September began, it was the third month in which Connecticut lacked a two-year budget for the new fiscal year that began on July 1st.